April 4, 2016: Settling into Life in Transylvania

Today is our first “normal day” in Romania.  It is Monday and we are done with our travelling.  Now it is time to just settle into real life living in the little village of Baita in rural Transylvania.  We were up around eight this morning, it is bright and sunny.  I am amazing by how clear and sunny it has been every day that we have been in Baita.  It is still chilly in the house but pretty nice outside and very nice in the sun.

We heard that last night (or probably right now as I write this on Monday morning in Romania) that five inches of snow is coming down in Western New York after as much as two inches came down the other night.  Hard to believe that that could be happening there when it is so nice here.

For those wondering, the part of Transylvania that we are in is just a tiny bit north of the northern tip of Maine.  So we are rather far north, in line with northern France to the west, Quebec in North America, Mongolia to the east and the top tip of the Japanese islands.  We will never get over just how incredibly far north Europe is.

We could hear and see the kids attending the local school across the street.  The school is right next to the church so we can even here the school bell ringing in the house.  We are surprised at how many children there are in this tiny village.  We are not used to this after living in several countries where kids are uncommon.  Here, kids are everywhere.

After school was out, one of the village girls came over to the house and came in to the living room and spent the afternoon playing with Liesl and Luciana.  This is awesome, their first real friend here and it is only our first week day in the village.  It took months before they started playing with the kids in Spain a year ago.

This evening after the girls’ new friend (we don’t know her name) had gone we packed up and drove out to Reghin again so that we could look for the bigger Kaufland grocery store that we have been told about.

We found the grocery store pretty easily and boy are we glad that we did.  Kaufland is enormous and has so many awesome items.  It is definitely the equivalent to a Wegman’s here.

We spent way more time at Kaufland than we had planned to.  It was so big and we kept finding new things.  We found peanut butter which was a big win.  And we found loads of vegetarian items.  Romania, at least central Transylvania, appears to have solid support for vegetarians with at least as many items as you would find at the major super markets back in the States.  We got several things, including veggie hot dogs which we are super excited about.  That is one meal that we seriously miss when we travel abroad.

We bought a lot of food at the Kaufland.  Then we drove to the main square and parked because we saw a large playground in the middle of the city so we let the girls get out and play for quite a long time.  This was very good, their first playground in Romania.  They live for their playgrounds.  I remember liking playgrounds a lot as a kid but I certainly do not remember liking them as much as my girls love them and I never did the imaginative kind of play that they like to do while on the playground.  They almost always wind up setting up a pretend bakery and selling pies and cakes to each other for the longest time.  This first started, that I noticed it at least, when we were at the large playground in Oslo nearly a year ago.

While the girls were on the playground I walked around to located a restaurant to go to for dinner.  I found a pizza place on the square that looked good.  So once we were done on the playground we just walked over to the pizza place which had a courtyard back behind the front line of buildings on the square and sat outside for our meal.

When we sat down it was very nice out, but Romanian temperatures plummet at night.  It can be in the mid seventies during the day and just lovely and suddenly be in the mid forties at night.  We have gotten used to warm nights in Spain, Greece, Nicaragua, Panama and Texas.  This is more like New York and it threw us off.  We went from very comfortable without jackets and sleeves rolled up when the meal started to absolutely freezing with jackets on by the end of the meal.  Dominica even had her scarf on over her sweater as a kind of blanket.

We left dinner at ten and drove back home.  It was, more or less, straight to bed for Dominica and the girls.  I stayed up dealing with some writing and posting until after midnight but was determined to get to bed myself at a decent hour.